Afghanistan under Taliban Rule: A return to a harsh version of Islamic law?
Despite the Taliban's efforts, in front of the cameras, to soften their image with a kinder, gentler message of tolerance, women's rights and peaceful cohabitation, Dr. Weeda Mehran, Lecturer at University of Exeter, portrays a dire and 'frightening situation' in Afghanistan. The brutality of the Taliban 'is fresh in the minds of people,' especially the brutality displayed 'towards religious minorities.' Speaking to France 24, Dr. Mehran describes the current situation on the ground that completely defies the Taliban's promise of broad amnesty: "We're getting reports of the Taliban doing door-to-door searches for (former) Afghan officials, NDS workers and security forces." Those who are officially summoned by the Taliban are threatened with retribution against family members if they do not report to them. Dr. Mehran warns of a bleak future, illustrating the grim new reality Afghanistan is now facing: "Once the cellphones are off and once the cameras turn around, they beat people up, they insult people on the streets, they hit women if they do not dress a certain way. They go on with the business as usual when they know that they are not being watched by the international community and there's nobody to record them.'